Discussion Papers

No.425 Where Does Philippine Education Go? The "K to 12" Program and Reform of Philippine Basic Education

by OKABE Masayoshi

August 2013


In 2012 the Philippines launched its "K to 12" Program, a comprehensive reform of its basic education. Through this reform, the Philippines is catching up with global standards in secondary education and is attaching a high value to kindergarten. The structure, curricula, and philosophy of the education system are undergoing reform and improvement. The key points of the new policy are "preparation" for higher education, "eligibility" for entering domestic and overseas higher educational institutions, and immediate "employability" on graduating, all leading toward a "holistically developed Filipino". This policy appears admirable and timely, but it faces some pedagogical and socioeconomic problems. The author wants to point out in particular that the policy needs to address gender problems and should be combined with demand-side approaches in order to promote poverty alleviation and human development in the Philippines.

Keywords: Secondary education, education reform, human development, poverty, The Philippines
JEL classification: O15, I21, I28, I31

The updated edition with revisions of this paper appears in the full research article titled: "'K to 12' Program as a National HRD Program to Develop the Workforce." Philippine Journal of Labor and Industrial Relations 35, nos. 1–2: 113–129.

Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.